Rio Vista Bridge re-opens after mechanical failure


(Graphic by Solano NewsNet)

The Rio Vista Bridge re-opened to traffic early Wednesday morning, several hours after the extension of Highway 12 was closed due to a mechanical failure.

The issue happened Tuesday around 6 p.m. when the bridge became stuck in the "up" position while it was being raised to allow a ship to pass underneath it.

The ship was forced to anchor nearby because the bridge did not raise complete, according to a person familiar with the issue.

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) issued a SIG Alert around 7 p.m., warning of a prolonged closure of the bridge. Motorists were stranded on both sides of Highway 12 for several hours, with police finally able to clear the backlog around midnight.

While the bridge was out of action, the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) urged motorists to use Highway 160, Highway 4, Interstate 680 and Highway 12 west of Rio Vista as a detour between that portion of Solano County and neighboring Sacramento County. Motorists could also use Highway 80 to Highway 5 as a detour.

The mechanical issue was frustrating for motorists who live and work in Rio Vista, in part because CalTrans recently installed back equipment that was meant to make the bridge more reliable.

Usually, motorists can detour around bridge issues by using either the Real McCoy II Ferry or the J-Mack Ferry, but those water-based extensions were also out of service on Tuesday — an issue that persists as of Wednesday morning.

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